Glasgow smile

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Actor Tommy Flanagan was given a Glasgow smile when he was attacked outside a bar in Scotland.[1]

A Glasgow smile (also known as a Chelsea smile, or a Glasgow, Chelsea, Birkenhead or Cheshire grin) is a wound caused by making a cut from the corners of a victim's mouth up to the ears, leaving a scar in the shape of a smile.[2][3][4]

The act is usually performed with a utility knife or a piece of broken glass,[5] leaving a scar which causes the victim to appear to be smiling broadly.

The practice is said to have originated in Glasgow, Scotland in the 1920s and '30s,[6] but became popular with English street gangs (especially among the Chelsea Headhunters,[7] a London-based hooligan firm, among whom it is known as a "Chelsea grin" or "Chelsea smile").

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Fretts, Bruce (12 November 2014). "Sons of Anarchy's Tommy Flanagan on Those Facial Scars, This Final Season, and Chibs". Vulture. New York. Retrieved 12 January 2019.
  2. ^ Mills, Rod (27 October 2008). "Surgeon Says Hospitals Treat a Knife Victim Every Six Hours". The Daily Express. Retrieved 20 November 2009.
  3. ^ Harvey, Oliver (16 October 2009). "If the Booze Doesn't Get You, The Blade Will". The Sun. London. Retrieved 20 November 2009.
  4. ^ Arlidge, John (24 April 1995). "City Slicker Glasgow". The Independent. London. Retrieved 20 November 2009.
  5. ^ Peter Ward Booth; Barry L. Eppley; Rainer Schmelzeisen (2003), Maxillofacial trauma and esthetic facial reconstruction, Churchill Livingstone, p. 555
  6. ^ McKay, Reg (19 October 2007). "Razor gangs ruled the streets but even in the violence of pre-war years, one man stood out". Daily Record. Glasgow. Retrieved 12 January 2019.
  7. ^ Sullivan, Mike; Peake, Alex (26 March 2011). "The end of a reign of terror". The Sun. London. Retrieved 3 September 2013.